Nature of project: experimental, software
Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes or joint students.
Public engagement is a powerful method to inspire, enrich, empower and enable learners. This project investigates the use of outreach, particularly using technology, to stimulate interest in Physics for Key Stage 3 learners (Years 7-9, ages 11-14). The project investigates the pedagogy of learning – curiosity for science and discovery through fun, hands on and interactive workshops.
The Trio Sci Cymru Project is a £8.2M pan-Wales science education partnership between Swansea, Cardiff, Bangor and Aberystwyth Universities, the Welsh Government and the Institute of Physics in Wales. As part of the project scientists and outreach tutors deliver custom-designed science workshops in Welsh secondary schools with the aim to encourage students to continue their science learning and consider science-related careers.
For the literature review the student is expected to research the content of the school curriculum for science taught at KS3, the impact of outreach in pre-GCSE education, and the pedagogy behind successful outreach, researching the use of technology in outreach for science communication.
For this project the student is expected to work with the project supervisor and Trio Sci Cymru team to develop interactive science experiments which complement the school curriculum through inquiry-based activities demonstrating physical phenomena and science applications. The focus for this project is on the topic of “Space”, particularly planetary exploration themed hands on examples of science research to engage, improve, and widen participation. The student is expected to develop a set of experiments / demonstrations which make use of technology (Planetarium, VR headsets for example) and hands on activities around the theme of space, which complement the work of the Trio Sci Cymru team. The planned activities should also be suitable to be delivered entirely online. For each activity documentation should be produced for the student and teacher, describing the scientific and pedagogical rationale of the experiment, how it links to the curriculum and the level. Sample results/ outcomes should be included in the documentation.
A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
As an extension to the project, evaluation of the generated activities in schools or with focus groups may be conducted. Evaluating materials will require ethical approvals and consideration.
When considering where to take your project, please bear in mind the time available. It is preferable to do fewer things well than to try many and not get conclusive results on any of them. However, sometimes it is useful to have a couple of strands of investigation in parallel to work on in case delays occur.
This project is only available as a Y3 project.
Please speak to Rachel Cross if you consider doing this project.
Initial literature for students:
This project will require some IT support and access to outreach materials.
|milestone||to be completed by|
|Review of outreach pedagogical methods and applications||end of November|
|Identification of outreach activities which are target age appropriate, meeting with Trio Sci team||Christmas|
|Generation of outreach material, testing, refining of practical elements||end of February|
|Accompanying instruction covering rationale, procedure, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.||Easter|
Students taking this project will have to submit a full risk assessment form and a full ethical assessment form before beginning practical work on this project.